A 54-15 victory against FDU-Florham on Sept. 24 followed 48-0 rout of Misericordia University on Oct. 1 has boosted the Mustangs’ football rankings to No. 19 nationally by D3football.com and No. 21 in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) poll. The team remains undefeated at 5-0 midway through the season, and they are 4-0 in conference play entering their bye week.
A 24-13 conference victory against the Lebanon Valley College Dutchmen on Sept. 14 saw junior quarterback Dan Williams go 23-28, passing for 192 yards and two touchdowns. Williams completed all 13 pass attempts in the first two quarters, giving the Mustangs a half-time lead of 14-0. In the fourth quarter, things seemed to look up for the Dutchmen; however, the Mustangs turned it back around on downs with almost three minutes left, as senior running back Devonte Williams made four runs for 33 yards, running the clock out for the victory.
Against the Devils of FDU-Florham on Sept. 24, both Williams and junior receiver Devin Salisbury broke program records in touchdown passes, passing yard and receptions. Williams threw for 338 yards and six touchdowns as Salisbury and fellow junior receiver Preston Addo each caught three touchdowns each.
Salisbury had 149 yards receiving off 11 receptions. The Mustangs had 478 total yards of offense while the defense forced the Devils’ offense to turn the ball over four times as senior defensive back Billy Lewis intercepted the ball twice while junior defensive backs Austin Tennessee and Jimmy Lauer had an interception apiece.
The 48-0 blanking of Misericordia on Oct. 1 is the third shutout in the program’s history. Sophomore running back Jainard Crawley-Lambert had 130 rushing yards and three touchdowns on Williams’ 202 passing yards. Junior running back Dontea Ayres had 123 rushing yards, including a 70-yard touchdown run. Salisbury had seven receptions for 79 yards. Senior kicker Tim Sternfeld had a 45-yard field goal just before half that set a personal record, and a second field goal of 27 yards in the third quarter. Lewis also made his sixth interception of the season.
With the team currently undefeated, they are geared to face any challenge that comes their way.
“I think it’s just important that we keep doing what we’re doing. It’s essential for our guys to kind of buy into what we’re trying to accomplish, and it’s important every week of the season we bring it to practice, so that on Saturday we get the result we want,” said junior quarterback Mike Edwards. “I think it’s something that’s cool to see, but at the same time, we have bigger goals for ourselves as a team. So, while being in the national rankings is important, and it definitely means something to the guys and the coaches but it can’t be something that we pay too much attention to,” said Edwards.
“We always want to get better, regardless of how much we win by – whatever we do, we could always be better,” said offensive tackle and team captain Nick Jachera.
Heading into the bye week, the Mustangs look to stay healthy as they prepare for next week’s matchup against Widener University in Chester, Pa., on Oct. 15. The team returns home on Oct. 22 to face Delaware Valley University for homecoming.